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Archive for November, 2011

I Surrender All

I Surrender All

Judson W. Van DeVenter, 1896

I surrender all,
I surrender all;
All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.

This hymn has been resonating with me the past few days.  I have been singing it while getting ready in the morning, doing the laundry, preparing meals, paying the bills & forging ahead in relationships. It has become my prayer. The more I sing it the more I realize how necessary it is for me to find the joy of surrender…

  • As we leave a steady paying job with benefits for a temporary part time position & the task of raising our support
  • As we live with almost entirely all of our possessions packed in boxes in 3 locations in 2 different states
  • As we press on to sell our house amidst an array of obstacles with very limited resources to overcome them
  • As our family of 6 learns to live with my parents, in their 2 bedroom house, for as long as is necessary
  • As we attempt to create relationships, meaning & purpose for ourselves during our time here
  • As we seek direction for our next steps in life & ministry, persevere in faith, hold fast to hope & live in love

The verses of this song speak volumes to me about the challenges we are facing in this journey of faith.  The lessons I am learning are rich & deep as I continue to learn to surrender all.

All to Jesus I surrender;
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.

I am learning to set aside my plans, my ideal settings, my preferences & my comfort for the sake of others.  I thought I was getting pretty good at that as I embraced motherhood. It is constantly a life of sacrifice but God has shown me how much more I have to grow in ‘freely giving’. The comfort I take in giving without limit is that it is all ‘in His presence’ and not one act of surrender goes unnoticed by my Father.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Humbly at His feet I bow,
Worldly pleasures all forsaken;
Take me, Jesus, take me now.
 
Surrendering our life challenges our comfort & pleasure.  In my head I know that possessions are just ‘things’ but I have discovered that my heart has yet to be convinced. Over the past few weeks, with most of my ‘things’ packed away, I have found how much my identity is wrapped up in my possessions.  What I wear, the tools I use, the comforts I surround myself with can become all too precious & important.  It has been an eye opening experience to realize how little we actually need for our day to day.  There is freedom in forsaking things.
All to Jesus I surrender;
Make me, Savior, wholly Thine;
Let me feel the Holy Spirit,
Truly know that Thou art mine.

As a mother, I have learned the sweetness of prayer without ceasing. To talk with the Father as I make lunch or stoop to tie little shoes provides me an anchor for my days & a pathway amidst the trials.  This time of trial has made clear to me how inseparable the Holy Spirit is for my daily survival.  If I were to walk through my days based on my undulating tides of emotion, my life would be a wreck. Yielding to the Spirit is my salvation.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Lord, I give myself to Thee;
Fill me with Thy love and power;
Let Thy blessing fall on me.

Surrender is for a purpose.  It is not, as we can wrongly assume, solely for learning lessons or giving up ‘our way’.  When we surrender we become useable.  We are no longer distracted by our own plans, agendas, desires & needs instead, we are free to be focused on what is truly important. Surrendering daily makes way for Him to sustain me beyond my own strength. Only then can we experience the depth of God’s words to the apostle Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

As I continue to sing this song I will hold fast to this truth: when I feel pressed & overwhelmed, ready to give up, He will empower me to continue on amidst these challenging circumstances. I surrender it all…

 

To view more paintings by Lyn Deutsch in the series ‘Hymns & Musical Instruments’ click on the image above.


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